Avoid the 5 Biggest Dieting Mistakes

If you believe the lyrics to the Human League song “Human,” then you accept the notion that we’re all born to make mistakes.

Okay, so maybe there is some truth to that notion, but I’m here to tell you it’s never too late to change your tune and avoid the five biggest mistakes that have derailed millions of well-intentioned weight loss efforts.

A good friend of mine once opined that before you can change your weight, you’ve got to change your mind.

So, if you’re guilty of any of these beliefs, then it’s time to change your mind so you can lose weight and keep it off.


See how many of these errors in judgment you have committed:

1. I’ll start my diet next week.

The best time to start a diet is today. Right now, in fact. I’m a procrastinator. I know how easy it is to set a future date to get started on a diet or any other project.

But by allowing yourself a few extra days before getting serious about slimming, you’re simply allowing yourself to continue on with the bad habits that led you to being overweight in the first place.

The end result: You’ll probably gain even more weight before you start dieting. Or, worse yet, by the time “next week” rolls around you’ll lose the resolve that led you to consider a diet.

Do yourself a big favor and get started… NOW!


2. There’s just no time for exercise.

Got a job that gets you out of the house early and doesn’t get you home until late? Got kids? Got other commitments?

Cry me a river. Everyone is busy. That’s just how life is. If you want to exercise and burn more calories you CAN find the time.

Consider starting your day an hour earlier. It’s the best way to fit in 30-45 minutes for the treadmill or free weights.

And what about the evening hours? Do you really have to sit on the couch watching hours of mindless “must see TV?”

If you can’t bear bypassing Dancing With the Stars or The Voice, consider squeezing in exercise time during the many commercial breaks. Better yet, watch your shows while walking on the treadmill.

A better choice is to head outdoors for a walk that takes you somewhere. Once I get started with exercise I fall in love with it — and it becomes a part of my day that I look forward to.

You can lose weight without exercise; you just won’t lose as much weight as quickly!


3. Just one more bite…

Many researchers will tell you: it’s all about the calories, folks.

Can you enjoy an occasional treat? By all means.

Can you fit in a treat a day? Sure… if you really aren’t serious about losing weight.

It’s the between-meal treats and second helpings that have helped us into bigger clothes, worse health and greater depression about our weight.

Don’t stop the treats. But make sure they are healthy treats. A few good choices include fruits, veggie sticks and low-fat dip, pretzels, popcorn (without butter), and those 100-calorie snack packs.

There are lots of options. Seek them out and treat yourself occasionally.


4. I’m smart enough to handle my diet by myself!

I’ve worked for four diet companies and have written countless success stories along the way. While doing my research, I’ve found that the overwhelming majority of successful slimmers tend to lean on their fellow dieters for support and motivation.

By being held accountable for your actions you’re less likely to binge or “cheat” on your diet. Having someone to talk to or exercise with helps keep you on the right track.

Don’t go it alone. There really is safety in numbers.

Studies show those of us who diet with support do better… much better.


5. The “hottest diets” must be the best diets!

The weight loss formula is simple math: it’s all about cutting calories and increasing activity. It’s not about cutting out entire food groups or drinking your meals.

Trendy diets come and go… much like your extra pounds. Coincidence? I think not.

Moderation is the key. Enjoying a well-rounded diet will help you stay the course without the boredom or yearnings that lead to straying.

A diet is simply an eating plan. So be sure to make it one that is sustainable. You may wnat to try the proven Meal Plan Map program.

But if you consider a diet something with a start and finish date, then you’re setting yourself up for failure.

Here’s a good start. Take inventory of your current eating habits then make a few better choices. These can be things like diet soda rather than regular, skim milk rather than 2%, or more veggies and less meat.


Good luck with achieving your goals. We’re here to help you in any way we can.



John McGran has been writing about health and weight loss for several national companies since 2000. He brings his knowledge of diets — and his passion for dropping pounds — to Meal Plan Map because he believes it is the future of smart, stress-free eating and improved health.


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